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Toasts of the President and Chairman Nan P'ing at a Banquet in Hangchow

February 26, 1972

Mr. Chairman, Mr. Prime Minister, and all of our friends from China and the United States:

When we were planning the schedule for our visit to the People's Republic of China, the Prime Minister determined what cities we would visit. Our time would only permit Peking, of course, and two other cities in this great country. And the Prime Minister naturally said one city must be Shanghai, the biggest city in China. And then, out of all of the other great cities in China, he said the other city must be Hangchow.

Now that we have been here, now that we have seen the splendor of this city, we realize why it has been said that heaven is above and beneath are Hangchow and Soochow. I am sure that the proud citizens of this province would say that Peking is the head of China, but Hangchow is the heart of China.

Tonight I wish to express appreciation on behalf of all of our party for this wonderful banquet and particularly for the beautiful decorations that we see here and on these tables which are a tribute to the great sense of beauty for which Hangchow is famous all over the world.

I think that since we have applauded the Chairman of the Revolutionary Committee and others, that all of us, too, would like to join in applause for those who prepared this wonderful banquet, who prepared these beautiful decorations, and who served us so beautifully tonight.

Mr. Chairman, Mr. Prime Minister, I propose tonight a toast to the health of Chairman Mao Tse-tung, to the health of Premier Chou, to the friendship between the Chinese people and the American people, and to our children and their children. May their future be as bright as the beauty of Hangchow.

On this informal occasion, may I express my appreciation to my Chinese voice, to Mrs. Chang. I listened to her translation. She got every word right.

Note: The President spoke at approximately 9:20 p.m. in the Hangchow Hotel. He spoke from a prepared text in response to a toast proposed by Nan P'ing, Chairman of the Chekiang Province Revolutionary Committee.

Mrs. Chang Fan-chih served as interpreter for both the President and Chairman Nan. She translated Chairman Nan's remarks, delivered in Chinese, as follows:

Mr. President and Mrs. Nixon, ladies and gentlemen, comrades, and friends:

We feel happy that President Nixon and Mrs. Nixon and all our other American guests have come here to Hangchow today for a visit. I would like to express welcome to you on behalf of the Revolutionary Committees of Chekiang Province and Hangchow City.

I would also like to take this opportunity to express thanks to President Nixon because the precious gift that has been given to the leaders and people of our country by Mr. President, the redwood trees, are planted here in our city, and we hope that they will continuously grow taller and stronger as a symbol of the friendship between the Chinese and American people.

Hangchow is a scenic spot of well-known fame in China, and we hope that aside from your busy work, you will be able to get some good rest during your stay here.
I propose a toast to the health of President Nixon and Mrs. Nixon, to the health of all our other American guests, to the health of all our friends and comrades present here, and to the friendship between the peoples of China and the United States.

Richard Nixon, Toasts of the President and Chairman Nan P'ing at a Banquet in Hangchow Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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